Party leaders respond to local mans letter to President Obama
By Donna ONeil, Managing Editor
When President Obama won his reelection bid earlier this month, many from both sides of the aisle responded with the forgivably jaded response, “Great. Four more years of gridlock and partisan chest-thumping.” Not Brentwood's Steve Wise, who voted for Mitt Romney. Wise wrote the president a letter offering him his support despite differing party affiliations.
“What he said was, even though he didn't give me his vote, he's giving me his support to move this country forward,” Obama said of Wise and his letter during a Nov. 16 news conference. “And he said the same to his Republican representatives in Washington. He said that he'll back each of us, regardless of party, as long as we work together to make life better for all of us. And he made it clear that if we don't make enough progress, he'll be back in touch.”
Prompted by Wise's interesting letter and Obama's high-profile response, the Williamson Herald reached out to the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties alike, offering them space on our editorial page to address the following.
In our invitation, we wrote:
“In this era of hyper-partisanship, is it possible for our elected officials to come together to represent 'we the people?' If so, what might that look like in Congress? Is it possible for the Tennessee congressional delegation and our state legislators to set partisanship aside work together for the common good? If so, what needs to change to facilitate this bellwether change? Or, conversely, perhaps the best path forward is through hardline partisanship.”
Kevin Kookogey, chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party, penned a notably candid, if not pointed, perspective on behalf of the county's GOP. While Gary Moore, public information director of the Williamson County Democratic Party, provided a response that, for better or worse, is more conciliatory in tone.
The Williamson Herald invites its readers to share their opinions through its editorial pages as well. Letters in response should be sent to Donna O'Neil, managing editor, at email@example.com, or The Williamson Herald, P.O. Box 681359, Franklin, Tenn., 37068.
Bring back government of, by and for the people
By Gary Moore
Public Information Officer
Williamson County Democratic Party
We, the family of Williamson County people, have more in common than differences.
We work together, live together and our kids go to school together. Political divides are nowhere to be seen in hook-up line or after a flood –the truth that we are all in this together often gets drowned by the political noise.
At the federal level, nothing will change until we get big money out of campaigns. It will probably take a Constitutional Amendment to reaffirm the Founders' principle that people have rights and corporations have privileges granted by the people. See www.movetoamend.org to take action. We would be shocked to see how much time our officials in Washington spend on fund-raising and how little they spend working for us. They put their corporate sponsors first.
Gerrymandering of districts is another systemic enemy of progress as it stifles choices.
At the state level, representatives from Williamson County have been at the forefront of the last two Republican-dominated legislatures, which have displayed the ugliest of partisan extremism. They have torn down public education and teachers; attacked unions; limited victims' rights to sue large corporations; assaulted science and reason, and pushed for guns everywhere and gays nowhere – while expanding corporate and other campaign contributions to themselves.
They must be stopped! Call your elected officials and let them know you really mean it –no more extremist ideology in place of representing our working families. Research issues to get the facts behind the bills, and then tell your representatives how to vote.
Get the facts behind the tirades to unmask hypocrisy. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, for instance, voted for two unfunded wars, unfunded Medicare Part D and unfunded tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. But, as soon as a Democrat became President, she and many Republicans were all about the debt – woe is me!
What we need now in the U.S. is investment in infrastructure and education and people, especially while borrowing costs are at all-time lows. It may seem counter-intuitive, but now is not the time to cut back and make the "austerity" mistakes of Europeans – it is time to invest in making a stronger and more competitive America.
We must take personal ownership of government by and for us. We cannot elect officials every two or four years and go back to sleep. Regular people have been priced out of democracy; we must take it back.
Gary Moore is public information director of the Williamson County Democratic Party. He can be reached by phone at 615-579-8658, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wcdemocrats.com.
Same old Democratic bi-partisan rhetoric
By Kevin Kookogey
Williamson County Republican Party
Here we go again. Another election has passed, and out comes the Bi-partisanship Brigade, riding forth under the deceptive banner of “the American people just want us to get things done,” which is nothing more than a euphemism for capitulating to the Democrat vision of the world. After all, when has a Democrat ever urged his colleagues to join Republicans in a “bipartisan” effort to lower taxes, reduce spending, end illegal immigration, or end abortion?
Bipartisanship, which happens naturally, of course, is benign. But bipartisanship for the sake of bipartisanship invites compromise for the sake of compromise, leading to specious ends.
Despite its unifying tone, bipartisanship has a deleterious effect on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Contrary to popular opinion, gridlock is good. The Constitutional doctrine of separation of powers, which impedes and inconveniences the political class is intentionally designed to protect and secure our natural rights from the fashionable spirits of collectivism and the tyranny of centralized power.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence didn’t risk their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to preserve the spirit of bipartisanship. They did it for the cause of liberty!
Besides, for all its fashion, bi-partisanship is a one-way street: It always works against Republicans. When Republicans cave to bipartisanship, they lose political power, whereas Republicans benefit when they refuse to compromise on principle, to wit:
In 1984, Ronald Reagan won 37 percent of the Hispanic vote. Two years later, under pressure from a bi-partisan commission’s recommendation to enact immigration reform, President Reagan reluctantly signed the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform Act of 1986 which, among other affects, provided amnesty for 3.6 million illegal aliens. Two years later, in the Presidential election of 1988, Republican George H.W. Bush garnered only 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, a 7 percent decline in political power among that group. And while the Act itself may not be dispositive of the issue, passage of the bi-partisan Simpson-Mazzoli Act did not help Republicans gain any political advantage among the very people the Act was intended to benefit.
Conversely, in 2010, Republicans stood firm against the drumbeat of bi-partisanship, leaving Democrats on their own to pass Obamacare. This roused the American people to action, resulting in a historic Republican landslide victory across the nation in the 2010 mid-term elections.
The spirit of bipartisanship may be in vogue, but to resist fashion is to retain moral freedom.
Kevin Kookogey is the chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party. He can be reached at XXXXXXX, by email at XXXX, and online at www.williamsoncountygop.com.
Posted on: 11/26/2012